The SNP is a progressive social democratic party and is the only party with Scotland’s interest at its heart. Among its policies, in no order of priority, are commitments to unilateral nuclear disarmament, protection of the NHS, investment in renewable energy, opposition to investing in nuclear power plants, the eradication of poverty, the building of affordable social housing, free higher education in Scotland, Land Reform, votes for 16 and 17 year olds.
The SNP was formed in 1934 through the merger of the National Party of Scotland and the Scottish Party, with Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham as its first president.
The party was brought to national prominence when Winnie Ewing won the Hamilton seat in 1967 and became an MP.
A high point for the party was in the 1974 General Election polling almost a third of all votes in Scotland and returning 11 MPs to Westminster. However, the party experienced a large drop in its support at the 1979 General election, followed by a further drop at the 1983 election.
In the 2007 Scottish Parliamentary election the SNP emerged as the largest party with 47 seats and Alex Salmond became First Minister of Scotland.
In the Holyrood 2011 election, the SNP won an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament with 69 seats. This was somewhat unusual as the Labour Westminster Government designed, in 1999, the Additional Member system to prevent any party gaining overall control of the Scottish Parliament.
Based on the 2011 majority, the SNP government held a Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014. The “No” vote prevailed in a close-fought campaign with only 45% of Scottish voters saying YES, prompting the resignation of First Minister, Alex Salmond and his deputy, Nicola Sturgeon, being voted in as the leader of the SNP and First Minister of Scotland.
Nicola Sturgeon led the party to an outstanding result in the UK general election in May 2015. The party went from holding 6 seats in the House of Commons to
56, mostly at the expense of the Labour Party. Only 3 of the 59 constituencies did not elect an SNP candidate. The Westminster SNP Leader is Angus Robertson who is also Depute Leader of the Party.
The SNP have been in Government in Holyrood since 2007 and Nicola Sturgeon became First Minister in 2014.
You can watch First Minister’s Questions every Thursday live at 12 noon on Scottish Parliament TV. Just click the photograph below.